A weak heart produces a poor appetite

July 12, 2012

Heart-brain-stomach link of major importance for diabetes and heart failure discovered: as a recent study by the MedUni Vienna has demonstrated, the hormone BNP, generated by the heart, also has an appetite-inhibiting effect. This discovery may open up new therapeutic opportunities for people with chronic heart failure or diabetes.

The heart not only responds to hormones, but it also produces some of these messenger substances itself. In patients with heart failure (weak hearts), increased levels of the BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) are released. When produced in greater quantities, this hormone supports the heart’s action: not only do the kidneys excrete more sodium and fluid, but the vessels also dilate. The clear relationship between chronic and loss of appetite and the dramatic loss of weight was already known about, and determining the reason behind it would represent an important new discovery.

“Heart hormone” BNP has an appetite-suppressing effect

A team at the MedUni Vienna led by Martin Clodi from the Clinical Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases has now been able to answer this question. The hormone BNP is the culprit, since it has a direct -suppressing effect. The mechanism behind it is also described by the study, which has just been published in the internationally leading magazine “Diabetes”.

Newly-discovered “heart-brain-stomach link” opens up new therapeutic possibilities

Until now, all that was known was that there was a bi-directional connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. This “brain- link” is also one of the key triggers for the chronic conditions of irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia. “The heart-brain-stomach link that has now been discovered apparently appears to exchange vital information with the brain and regulate key physical functions and, in , clearly makes it easier for the heart to work effectively by reducing the patient's weight. This will open up interesting perspectives for new treatment concepts in and diabetes," says Clodi.

Explore further: Heart failure linked to thinner bones and fractures

More information: B-type natriuretic peptide modulates ghrelin, hunger and satiety in healthy men. Vila G, Grimm G, Resl M, Heinisch BB, Einwallner E, Esterbauer H, Dieplinger B, Mueller T, Luger A, Clodi M. Diabetes, June 14, 2012, doi: 10.2337/db11-1466

Related Stories

Heart failure linked to thinner bones and fractures

February 2, 2012

Heart failure is associated with a 30 percent increase in major fractures and also identifies a high-risk population that may benefit from increased screening and treatment for osteoporosis, according to a recent study accepted ...

Peptide level ups diagnosis of heart failure in primary care

May 15, 2012

(HealthDay) -- For patients presenting with dyspnea, the additional measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels increases the certainty of diagnosis of heart failure and accelerates initiation of appropriate treatment, ...

Recommended for you

Major fall in diabetes-related amputations since the 1990s

November 22, 2015

A major new study has found a significant reduction in diabetes-related amputations since the mid-1990s, credited to improvements in diabetes care over this period. The research is published in Diabetologia (the journal of ...

Blocking immune cell treats new type of age-related diabetes

November 18, 2015

Diabetes is often the result of obesity and poor diet choices, but for some older adults the disease might simply be a consequence of aging. New research has discovered that diabetes—or insulin resistance—in aged, lean ...

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

Engineered hot fat implants reduce weight gain in mice

August 20, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning "good" fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.